The ultimate Taobao guide for beginners and non-Chinese speakers

Tao Bao – A shoppaholic’s dream come true

If you haven’t already heard of Tao Bao (where have you been?), you’re about to discover China’s gift to the world.

What is it?
Let’s check out good ol’ Wikipedia:
Taobao
Simplified Chinese: 淘宝网
Traditional Chinese: 淘寶網
Pinyin: Táobǎo Wǎng
Literally: “searching for treasure website”, is a Chinese website for online shopping similar to eBay and Amazon that is operated in China by Alibaba Group.

In other words: China’s version of eBay – but with everything going at rock bottom prices!

ron-swanson-shopping
What it feels like to shop on Tao Bao.

The catch? It’s a Chinese website.
Like most Singaporeans who depend on Google Translate and hanyupinyin more than they care to admit to (yours truly guilty as charged), Tao Bao looks trouble than it’s worth.

Well you don’t have to miss out. Because here’s a guide so easy your new Ang Moh neighbour from Germany could start shopping on Tao Bao too!

Step 1 – Setting up a Tao Bao Account

Go to http://www.taobao.com. You’ll notice that the URL will redirect you automatically to http://www.world.taobao.com (unless you’re based in China – in which case why are you here?!)

If you’re not based in China, you’ll see this:
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Registering 1

Click on the words “注册” to register.
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Registering 2

Agree to Tao Bao’s Terms & Conditions of use.

A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Agree to Terms and Conditions

REJOICE! There is an option to change the site’s language to English.
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Change to English.png

It gets even easier from here on.
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Email or Mobile Number

If you registered by mobile…
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Mobile 6 digital verification code
Enter the code to verify your account, then it’s on to creating your profile!
You need a 1) User Name 2) Password.
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - User Name & Password.png

If you see this…
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Account Created

It means your account has been created. Hooray!
Next: you’ll receive a text message to your mobile phone prompting you to set up an Alipay account on http://www.Alipay.com.

What is Alipay?
Alipay is Tao Bao’s official e-payment service (basically the Chinese equivalent of PayPal) and you have to use it to pay for transactions on Tao Bao.

Head over to http://www.Alipay.com and choose “Buyer”. (Unless you plan to join the fray and set up your own shop!)
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Alipay Identify as Buyer

Register:A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Alipay Register

Get verified:
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Alipay Mobile Verification.png

A pop-up showing your 1) mobile number 2) Tao Bao user name, will appear. Your Tao Bao user name should be registered to the same mobile number you are using to register your Alipay account.
Hit the orange button to confirm this.
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Alipay Confirm Account

You’ll be directed to the Alipay Login Page.
Key in your Tao Bao username and password to login to Alipay.
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Alipay Login.pngAnd you’re DONE for Alipay!

Next, update your delivery address on your Tao Bao account.
To do that, visit https://i.taobao.com/my_taobao.htm
A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Update delivery address

A beginner's guide to Tao Bao - Update delivery address part 2.png

Welcome to Tao Bao!
You can now show off your shiny new account to all your Chinese speaking friends who studied Higher-Mother tongue who doubted you. Hah!
funny-fashion-gifs-about-shopping

NEXT ARTICLE:
We’ll talk about DELIVERIES and how to arrange that. Tune in to our next article!

P.S. If you liked this, share it! We don’t get paid to write any of this. But you will make us very happy. XOXO

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Author: Taobao Hacks

The ultimate guide to shopping at Tao Bao! Not everything on Tao Bao has look like it was made in a sweat shop in China. We curate the best of Tao Bao - from fashionable threads that wouldn't look out of place on the streets of Paris and Milan, furniture that looks like it came out of a Kinfolk magazine, tech products that will please even the geekiest techhead and anything else that you could possibly dream of buying. But prettier.

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